Let us pray

Let us pray

“Let us pray.”

“Let us remember that we are in the presence of God.”

“Let us remember that we are in the presence of our God.”

“Let us be in an attitude of prayer.”

“Please center yourself.”

I hear these phrases all the time as the leader seeks to gain control over his or her group. I do fully understand the need to bring people to focus on what is happening; to bring the group to quiet so the prayer can be made. More importantly and objectionably, I understand that the leader is invoking each person’s sense of God and his/her commitment to God to gain their attention and respect. In a way, instead of relying on his/her own earned respect, the leader is invoking the person’s already-held respect for God.

It’s interesting because any religious leader can obtain transmuted respect in this way. They don’t have to do anything themselves to earn a person’s respect. The phrases are cliche’, but the technique is very effective. Even non-believers become silent when these phrases are uttered.

My question is, “Why are these simple phrases so effective?”

My answer is that these simple phrases are effective for three reasons:
1. The leader is saying something to quiet the group. It gets their attention.
2. If you are so bold as to ignore the leader (who is God’s representative after all), you will go straight to hell.
3. If you know you won’t go to hell, at very least you will suffer the silent condemnation of the people around you who think that you are offending God.

Thus, a call to prayer at the beginning of a meeting, ball game, or class in school, quite simply–works. It’s a great way to manipulate the minds and attitudes of the group to the intentions of the leader. The prayer itself invokes positive intentional thought which reminds people to behave and otherwise do the right thing. Not entirely a bad thing, but it is a manipulative technique. Sometimes it’s just good to know what’s going on!


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